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The major and minor leagues excluded black baseball players for most of their history until Jackie Robinson broke the color line in 1946 and 1947. However, at the local level, the color line was not always so absolute. Town teams were occasionally integrated, and segregated teams played each other, sometimes with the local championship on the line. Among the small towns where this occurred was Chanute, Kansas, where a black ball club named the Chanute Black Diamonds was first organized in 1900. From 1904 through 1906, the Black Diamonds assembled a team of the best players from Chanute and nearby Humboldt and Iola that was competitive against both black and white teams in the region. They also earned the city’s championship in 1905. In addition, several members of the team were occasionally sought by white ball clubs wanting to bolster their rosters. Although they never had the opportunity to play in any of the local minor leagues or in the Negro National League (which was not organized until 1920), the Black Diamonds were so well known throughout the region that the team sometimes drew more fans, black and white, than their white counterparts. This monograph summarizes the baseball experiences of the Black Diamonds during this period.
baseball color line, integrated baseball, segregated baseball, Chanute Kansas, Chanute Black Diamonds, Iola Kansas, Iola Go-Devils, Humboldt Kansas, Pomp Reagor.
Eberle, Mark E., "Baseball’s Color Line in Kansas andthe Chanute Black Diamonds of 1904–1906" (2020). Monographs. 21.